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2 Oregon counties ask for refrigerated trucks to hold COVID-19 fatalities

Tillamook and Josephine counties both asked the state Office of Emergency Management for the trucks to handle an increase in COVID-19 deaths.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Tillamook County's only funeral home spent the last few weeks at or above its capacity of nine bodies.  

Mike Waud, the owner of Waud's Funeral Home, knew the rise in COVID deaths in his county was the main reason for the work overload. He turned to Tillamook County Emergency Director Gordon McCraw for help.

McCraw, in turn, asked the state Office of Emergency Management to find the county a refrigerated truck.  

Klamath County has loaned Tillamook County its truck. It's in Tillamook now and will be ready for use at the start of the week if Waud gets overwhelmed again.

"It's horrible to think that we needed to get a refrigerator truck for the increase in bodies that are resulting from COVID," McCraw said.

Mike Waud said that his funeral home is finally back below capacity right now, but based on what he's seen, he thinks that could change quickly. He believes he made the right decision to ask for help.

"It was a concern, if it had continued going the way it was, that we wouldn't be able to take care of people. And we need to take care of people," Waud said.

Josephine County also asked Oregon's emergency management office for a refrigerated truck. They got one on loan from Yamhill County.